Calf Deliveries/Cesarean Section
Calving Emergencies, technically called dystocia, is a major cause of death loss in herds. Dystocia can have a large economic impact on producers due to calf death, veterinary costs, decreased rebreeding efficiency, and injury or death to the cow. Dystocia is also the number one cause of calf mortality in the first 96 hours of life. Pregnancy rates for the dam after losing a calf are lower than for dams that have not lost a calf. A normal positioned delivery often happens in one hour for a cow and two hours for a heifer. As a producer, if you are not seeing progress during this hour, it may indicate delivery complications. An earlier response is key to delivering a healthy calf and less problematic to the cow. If you are having a cow with a calving emergency, calling earlier is always better than waiting, this prevents her from being in labor longer and gives you the best opportunity for the calf to survive.